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I Need An Industrial Hygiene Survey, What Do I Do?

If you need an Industrial Hygiene Survey as discussed in this article, call us at 973-366-4660 or email us at info@atlenv.com for details and a free estimate.

Written By:  Robert E. Sheriff, MS, CIH, CSP, President
March 28, 2020; Updated November 2021

Industrial Hygiene Surveys for Industry

We have over 40 years of experience in performing Industrial Hygiene Surveys for the industry.  Also known as Occupational Health Surveys, the objective of such surveys is to identify and evaluate any potential health risks to workers in their environments, such as industrial locations, warehouses, construction sites, government institutions, etc.

Identification and Potential Risk Factors

The first step is to identify the potential health risks that may be involved in a space.  This can usually be determined during a walk-through inspection of each activity that is considered high-risk. These include but not limited to, welding, plating, brazing, chemical processing, metal casting, operating machinery, molding parts manufacturing, extrusion, assembly, warehousing, grinding, sawing, painting, repairing, refining, recycling, operating equipment, and using electronics.

Occupational Health Risk

Remember, an occupational health risk can also be noise, radiation, ergonomics, and heat/cold stress, not just chemical exposures. These risks can even include biological exposures as well, such as ticks, dust mites, legionella bacteria, and mold.

Depending on the nature of the work being done, and the work environment, risks to specific hazards will vary. Evaluation of the work environment can generally be quantified through worker-exposure testing which involves the actual sampling of the individual using portable instruments and sampling devices confirmed by accredited laboratories. Exposure can address maximum allowable vulnerabilities (often referred to as a ceiling limit), Short Term Exposure Limits (STEL’s), and full-shift exposure (8-hour time-weighted average).

OSHA and Certified Industrial Hygienists

Where exposure measurements identify health risks or violations of a regulatory standard (such as OSHA regulations), the Industrial Hygienist must assist in developing corrective measures to reduce/eliminate workers’ exposures. There is a hierarchy of approaches to reducing or eliminating excessive exposure. The hierarchy is shown below and is listed from the most effective measures in protecting workers to the least effective measures.

  1. Elimination of the agent.
  2. Substitution of a less hazardous substance.
  3. Isolate the exposure situation from the worker.
  4. Isolate the worker from the exposure.
  5. Local Exhaust Ventilation.
  6. General Ventilation.
  7. Personal Protection

Note that the least effective method of worker exposure control is personal protective equipment (PPE). While workers are all encouraged and required to wear PPE, elimination and management of the hazard source is always a top safety priority.

Written Health and Safety Program

A written Health and Safety Program is also essential to prevent exposures and regularly evaluate the effectiveness of controls.

A Certified Industrial Hygienist (CIH) is an integral part of the program efforts and has the official title in physical workplace evaluations.

Multiple national organizations, such as the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA), are a valuable resource for finding qualified personnel, training, education, laboratory accreditation, and regulatory assistance.

Are you looking to get an industrial hygiene survey? We have Certified Industrial Hygienists and industrial hygiene field personnel.  They can address every aspect of a working environment to identify health risks, evaluate any exposures, identify corrective measures, evaluate ventilation, develop written protocols, and assist in regulatory compliance.  Feel free to contact us at 973-366-4660 or info@atlenv.com.

Our primary service areas for Industrial Hygiene Surveys are New Jersey NJNew York NY, (New York City)Pennsylvania PAConnecticut CTDelaware DEMassachusetts, (Boston) MARhode Island RIWashington DCWisconsin WIMaryland MDMichigan MIIllinois (Chicago) ILVirginia VAIndiana INGeorgia (Atlanta) GAAlabama ALNorth Carolina NCSouth Carolina SCTennessee TNTexas (Dallas, Ft Worth) TXOklahoma OKDCArkansas AR, Florida FL. We can service most other areas of the U.S. but additional travel charges will be applied.

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